Letter: A better way to address welfare, drug concerns
Re “Drug testing will help end abuse” (Monitor letter, Jan. 28):
Deborah Sargent needs to better understand the nature and limitations of drug tests before she throws her support behind them. The only drug the tests reliably detect is cannabis. Opiates and amphetamines are undetectable after a matter of hours of days, so unless the person had used these drugs shortly before the test they will test clean.
This information is readily available to drug users and is one of the worst things about drug tests in general – they promote use of the most dangerous drugs and discourage use of the safest (cannabis). The drug testing industry is yet another parasite of the drug war that grows by convincing people like Sargent that they are a good thing when in fact they are not.
The successful method developed to address her concerns are food stamps that can only be used to buy food and not alcohol or drugs. While these may be limited to federal programs, your state agencies should be able to develop and use similar methods.
Santa Cruz, Calif.